Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Heat has Broken but My Bonds are Tight

Our string of 60+ days of over 100F (38C) degree heat has finally broken. This past Monday (Labor day, the official end of summer) we awoke to a cool 60F morning and it only climbed to 95F over the course of the day.

This still sounds amazingly hot, and is, if you are in the sun, but Monday was so cool, I was out puttering around in our garden while Sir did some maintenance on the house in preparation for the coming wet season.

Puttering around in our garden means going out in the early morning before the sun rises over the house and weeding and moving some flowers around. It also, of course, means doing it in latex.

Monday morning I asked Sir if I could work in the garden and he said yes, but to wear my burqa while I did so. And, because it was so cool when he woke me and let me out of my vac bed, I put on my usual cooler weather attire.

So, after my morning bath, I dressed in a thin skinsuit of transparent red tinted latex, a red rubber ankle length, loose skirted dress with a Victorian bodice (all high collar and leg o'mutton sleeves), matching boots, gloves, and a hood covering the skinsuit's transparent one.

This was the first day I have been able (and required) to wear two layers of latex all day long in quite some time. For most of the summer Sir has relented on the skinsuit allowing me to just wear a dress or skirt and blouse and only one hood. Sometimes, I have not even had to wear a hood for the whole day unless we were going out and then only the burqa's hood.

So, I wandered downstairs after dressing, doubly covered and gloved and hooded, and asked Sir if I could do my gardening before the sun got too high. His response was, "yes, but wear your red burqa. And I will put you in hobbling chains, i think!"

I was a little disconcerted since our back yard is fully enclosed and not exposed to neighbors or anyone else. No one could see, even if I was chained, so why the burqa? But needs must when the devil rides, so I went to our play room and waited.

A few moments later Sir joined me, collected a set of hobbling chains from the wall and proceeded to severely limit my range of motion.

The steel chains he chose are not very heavy, are very silver, and have rubber manacles attached to them. They start with a pair of ankle manacles, chained together with a length of about 18 wide. This limits my stride, but since I was to be kneeling much of the time, it would not matter much. A vertical chain rises from the center of the hobble to a rubber waist belt which went around my dress. Attached to it are 'D' rings at the sides and front and back.

The side rings have short chains coming off them with arm cuffs attached. These fasten above my elbows and restrict my arm range of motion considerably.

The D rings in back and front have chains coming off them leading to a heavy rubber neck collar. Once fastened, at the specific length, I would be able to stand, but would be unable to stretch.

Then, Sir fastened my head into a bright red hood (my third) with a feeding gag and limited vision from pepperpot eyes, and fastened the collar around my throat before draping the bright red burqa over my head (he is SO enamored of monochromatic dressing). The outer hood has a built-in gag which has a tube passing through it for providing me with water. Both inner hoods have wide mouth openings. The tube from the gag can either be run under the burqa or actually passed through one of the perforations in the burqa's grill for attachment to a water bottle that I could suck from as I wished.

He had me feed my hands through the arm slits and then then manacled my wrists with an 18 inch length between them on the outside of the burqa. Another chain dropped from the one hobbling my wrists to the one hobbling my ankles, so I actually had two chains rising from my feet to my midsection, one beneath and one outside the burqa.

If this all seems a bit excessive, it is, but Sir enjoys having me bound like this. The chains are connected to each other with small padlocks, so he can configure them any way he wishes, including shortening my stride and reach.

By just removing the wrist to ankle hobble he then has me ready to go out in public, bound and hobbled under the burqa.

Next I went to the garage to retrieve my tools, a bucket, and a rubber padded kneeling board. I was able to move with some difficulty, but I have done this countless times before, so I was used to it. Thankfully, I have learned to place all my gardening tools at a fairly low height in our garage since I could not reach higher than my elbows at best.

Out into the back yard and around to the garden. I decided where to work first and placed the kneeler in front of a patch of flowers with some weeds growing out of it. Then I prepared to kneel and get to work.

This raises a question. How should a veiled lady kneel to work in a garden? Does one kneel on the burqa? Does one lift it and kneel on the dress beneath it? Or does one lift all the skirts and kneel on her skinsuit?

I recall Sister Justine at school kneeling on her apron which she wore over her habit. But my mother would typically raise her dress up and kneel on the garden kneeler with her bare knees.

I opted for the most conservative, kneeling on my burqa. This still required some fiddling, fluffing, and flouncing of both my skirt and the veil, all of which was limited in scope by my chains. But, ultimately, I managed to drop to my knees in an appropriate attitude of prayer to the vegetable gods.

As I worked, bent over my weeding and pruning, Sir took some inappropriate photos, mostly of my rear. But, he did capture a few of my red rubbered hands with their black rubber manacles, emerging from the red swirl of latex burqa to wield a small garden fork and the obligatory pair of secateurs. There is something slightly sinister about those pictures with red rubbered hands holding shiny steel bladed secateurs. Slowly, my bucket began to fill with unwanted grass, weeds, and stems.

My kneeler has upright handles on it and short spiky legs which bite into the soil on either side. This is important because I could twist and use one hand to rise when I needed to move to a different location. I could only reach the side with one hand at a time because of the manacles and chain, but I was fairly capable of independent movement.

Sir, dressed in a black rubber shorty catsuit (a one piece affair with short sleeves and bermuda length short legs), proceeded to work on his grill, paint the railing around our balcony and stairs, caulk some windows, and repair some cracks in the outer stucco of our house. It has been a very hot summer and the exterior of our home has suffered, but it is looking much better after his efforts.

He WAS kind enough to take my bucket away from me and empty it multiple times as I filled it. He kept an eye on me to be sure I did not overheat as well and made sure that I was drinking from the water bottle, through my gag.

We worked for about four hours before the sun crossed over the crown of our house and began to beat down on the back yard. It had been very breezy and was quite a pleasant temperature in the low 70's, but one certainly did not want to be working with any strenuousness once the sun was up and the air began to truly heat up in the afternoon.

About 1 pm, just as the sun was getting to be too much, Sir came over, raised me up and unhooked all my chains. He reached under the burqa and removed the collar and the burqa hood with its gag. The reduction in pressure was much appreciated. But I did not speak as we are in agreement that once un-gagged I will always wait to be told it is ok to talk.

He then proceeded to walk me over to a chaise, sat me down, and removed my red rubber boots then walked me gently down the steps into our pool. My burqa and my dress were still on and they floated out around me until I got them a bit more under control and under the surface. The water was still blood temperature. it will be several days before it loses an appreciable amount of heat.

We floated around a bit, my in bright red voluminous rubber veil and dress, he in tight black jumpsuit. Finally, he came over to me, slipped my burqa off and unzipped my dress and removed both, placing them on a patio lounger by the edge of the pool. Thank heaven he had specifically told me NOT to corset in the morning.

So here I was, after about 5 hours in multiple layers of total enclosure and encasement in soft, red latex and steel chain bondage, now virtually naked in just the red tinted transparent skinsuit, still technically covered head to foot in rubber, floating gently on my back in a cool swimming pool. At one point, Sir came over behind me and I floated on my back, eyes closed, while he stroked my bald head through the thin latex (as he still keeps my head shaved). I am not sure when the orgasms began, but they did not end for quite some time.

We stayed in the pool long enough to enjoy each other very, very well, then he took me inside and undressed me and put me in a cool shower and had me re-dress, this time in black for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Later, after sunset, we went out to a nearby Japanese restaurant for dinner.

All in all, a wonderful labor day spent in the garden!


Thursday, September 01, 2011

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Rant Alert: Sir tells me I should warn everyone that my post today will be a rant and not fetish or latex related.

Today I watched a horrible wreck on television.

Not a wreck of flesh and steel, but of mind and knowledge.

Today I watched an episode of the game show Jeopardy! with three school teachers as contestants.

It was terrible to see two of them, one fresh from university, one with many years of high school teaching, implode in a heap of wrong answers and poor scores.

The third was also a high school teacher and, to his credit, walked away with $30,000 worth of right answers.

The other two finished with under $4000 and -$1600, respectively.

Now many things can influence this game as I am sure regular watchers are aware.

"Reaction time is a factor", so we have to allow that the runaway leader might have been considerably swifter on the buzzer.

Contestants, even those well rehearsed and chosen for the game by the producers do, sometimes, choke in the real event.

And occasionally, the categories are just not the forte of a particular contestant.But, with the possible exception of the reaction time issue above, I do not thing these rationale apply.

The lowest scorer kept losing money until she was in the red by answering questions wrongly.

She did not even know the river bordering Texas and Mexico (hint: not the Colorado)

The other, a kindergarten teacher, but, as I said, fresh from university, seemed mostly to miss buzzing in or to not is hard to know when someone does not even get the chance to answer, just what went wrong.

But I certainly expected to see more even scores across the board from professional educators.

We typically see much more even scores across teen contestants, which I find interesting. Teens REALLY know teen culture.

Our teachers are trained, in some ways crafted, by our higher educational system; it is a mighty force as anyone who has tried to stand against it or change its course can tell you. And so, I looked upon the works of those mighty and despaired.

Now Jeopardy is, by no means, the way a teacher should be judged or ranked, rated, or recommended. Jeopardy! is a game show and cannot be used as a significant testing vehicle except, perhaps, in the IBM Watson competition. IBM chose Jeopardy! as its demonstration vehicle because Jeopardy! does require contestants to both have a wide general base of knowledge and to exercise their language parsing and comprehension skills to participate at any reasonable level. Jeopardy! is used in schools to exercise students in those skills and it does have a very strong pedagogical background.

What worries me about this presentation I watched today is that I see many other episodes with people not in the education profession who do amazingly well; whose breadth of knowledge is both wide and deep. Why, then, do our professional educators who go on this show appear not to have the same knowledge base and skill base? Let me hasten to say that I have watched other Jeopardy! Teachers episodes with similar results. The previous one I watched had a high school teacher also go negative with all his wrong answers and have to leave before Final Jeopardy! And anecdotally, educators seem to make relatively poorer contestants overall. I have not performed a serious study, however.

What, I wonder, is going on?

Teaching is hard! teaching below university level is harder than hard. I have done it, I have taught others how to do it, and I have researched how students learn so teachers can be able to do it well and better than it has been done before. No matter what, teaching is hard...and teachers in our K-12 grades are not even allowed to teach as much as they would prefer...they are laden with so many administrative and politically motivated responsibilities that 12-14 hour days with significant amounts of that spent working at home each evening are considered not just normal, but somehow a moral imperative. Don't put those hours in and you are considered a poor teacher, unmotivated, ill prepared for promotion, etc, etc.

But, what are we doing in educating our teachers that we seem to see less and less breadth and depth in THEIR education? At these levels, ANYONE coming from a university education should have a strong grasp of a broad range of topics. And people educated on how to teach should also know the basics of general knowledge about history, geography, language, literature, mythology, physics, math, chemistry, biology, astronomy, philosophy, ethics, theology, politics, history, culture, music, drama, and art.

Our universities have an obligation to produce teachers ready to answer questions and ready to facilitate the gathering and contextualization of information into knowledge. Some say this is not necessary. Some say teachers should be taught to teach (organize and plan lessons and present the information, and just stay a few chapters or pages ahead of the students) but I must disagree. As long as there are teachers and we do not hand over education strictly to the web, teachers must continue to be a bit of the "sage on the stage" while also being "the guide by the side". They need a solid base of knowledge at their fingertips to quickly and accurately answer questions that arise. This is particularly true of elementary, but also of high school teachers.

Now, I do not expect every bachelor-degreed teacher to be an in-depth expert in all of those subjects above. but I expect teachers-to-be to be so interested in knowledge itself that they can almost not help but absorb significant amounts of information about those topics. And I expect university courses to be designed to interestingly and effectively impart that knowledge to them. Interestingly designed and taught general studies courses should be required of teaching majors...(no, frankly, I believe they should be required of ALL majors.).

Another thing we need to do before university is to stop teaching wrong information. History classes that are more designed to indoctrinate young students in cultural values at the expense of historical accuracy need to go. Geography courses that are decades out of date and set students up with an inaccurate vision of the world outside their borders need to go. Science courses that demonstrate effects without forcing students to think about causes and implications need to go. Literature courses that avoid hard topics and worry about political correctness when teaching students who absorb vast amounts of attitude from pop culture need to go. Any courses which universities identify as having to be untaught to first year college students need to go.

The current way in which teachers are prepared to be teachers is unfair
The current way in which teachers are expected to be teachers is unfair
The current way in which society views teachers is unfair
The current way in which society values teachers is unfair

These things are not just unfair to the individual teachers involved, they are also unfair to the students they teach and to the society those students both inherit and create.

The teachers I watched on Jeopardy! today who performed so poorly may be excellent teachers in their own environments. I know nothing of them, their skills, their interests, their dreams, or their achievements (well, apparently the runner up only managed to eat 5 hot dogs in a hot dog eating contest where she was the only woman and the winner ate 42, which does indicate a certain willingness to embrace difficult challenges!)

So please do not take this as any indictment of these individuals; I am making no judgements about them as individuals. But, after watching educators perform poorly as a group in several of these Jeopardy! episodes, I have to wonder, why do educators, as a group, seem to do poorly and non-educators, as a group, seem do so much better? And why do some educators do so wildly better? Are they just outliers or is there something else going on? Training, opportunity, personality? What is making the difference? I do not believe the old adage of "those who can, do and those who can't, teach". We have no scientific evidence of that. Although we DO know that many true experts in any field make very poor educators in that field. Experts do not know and often cannot explain how they do what they do...but here we are talking about general knowledge, not deep, deep expertise in a single topic.

But they should have more knowledge at their mnemonic beck and call than they appear to have on this show.

Well, those are my thoughts. I do not usually use this blog to comment on social issues, but this one struck very close to my heart. Watching educators do so poorly on that show always bothers me and worries me. I wonder if I could have done more as a teacher myself to be sure my students walked away with a greater breadth of knowledge than just the topic of my course.


You will now be returned to your regularly scheduled latex fetish blog.